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Course Description

This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to trim high branches reachable with a power driven pole saw and to promote tree growth by trimming and felling excess branches.

Power driven pole saw in this unit refers to professional standard pole-mounted chain saws that are typically fuel types, but may be battery powered, and generally telescopic.

It applies to those who operate a pole saw in a forest environment and includes equipment maintenance.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Prepare for trimming

  • Identify and follow WHS, environmental, legal and organisational requirements for operating a pole saw.
  • Review work order and clarify with appropriate personnel.
  • Select equipment appropriate to work requirements and check for serviceable condition in line with manufacturer recommendations.
  • Carry out pre-startup checks of pole saw in line with site requirements.
  • Establish and maintain communication with others to ensure safety.

2. Assess trees

  • Identify and assess tree type, location and stability for safe working conditions.
  • Plan the trim of a tree in line with site procedures and environmental conditions.
  • Identify trees unable to be trimmed safely and refer to appropriate personnel.
  • Determine whether the height of the branch is within safe reach when using the pole saw
  • Establish general falling direction of branches and limbs to be trimmed and identify clear escape route.

3. Trim trees

  • Trim accessible branches and knots to specifications in line with manufacturer recommendations and organisational safe work practices for angle and height allowances.
  • Monitor movement and whereabouts of other personnel to ensure work site is safe.
  • Undertake sequence of cuts to trim tree branches.
  • Operate pole saw in line with safety regulations, adjusting technique in response to condition of the tree.
  • Diagnose unexpected characteristics of a tree during trimming operations and review tree assessment if required.
  • Complete cutting once initiated, to minimise splitting.
  • Clear cut branches from the site in line with standard operating procedures and environmental requirements.
  • Record and report trimming activity.

4. Conduct operator maintenance

  • Follow lock-out procedures in line with WHS legislation and site procedures.
  • Inspect condition of saw and other equipment on completion of trimming activities.
  • Remove, sharpen, adjust or replace chain and other components, in line with manufacturer recommendations.
  • Recycle, re-use or dispose of blunt or damaged chain and other components in line with environmental requirements.
  • Clear pole saw of dust, shavings and debris and check to make sure it meets relevant operational standards.
  • Record and report equipment faults and maintenance activity.